UPDATED Sept. 9, 12:30 p.m. ET: Box office statistics from Thursday and Friday night show It will likely blow past initial estimates with a projected $103 million opening weekend. The increased projections are largely due to Friday showings, as the film grossed $51 million during Friday alone.

The dominance of It comes on the heels of one of the worst box office summers in several years. Prior to this weekend, the overall numbers for August 25-27 were calculated to come in at a paltry $65 million, with The Hitman’s Bodyguard netting $13.4 million during the following weekend.

“Horror pics traditionally drop from Friday to Saturday, but It should prove the exception to the rule,” noted Pamela McClintock of the Hollywood Reporter. “The other wild card this weekend is Hurricane Irma, which could hurt overall revenue by as much as 5-6 percent. However, analysts don’t expect the disruption to be significant since horror films generally under-index in Florida.”

Original story below:

The new movie adaptation of It, based on Stephen King's 1986 novel of the same name, has had audiences anxiously awaiting its release since the first teaser trailer way back in March. But we had no idea exactly how anxious the awaiting was until now. 

The movie had a record-setting night on Thursday, taking in $13.5 million during preview screenings. That was the biggest haul ever for an R-rated movie, edging out Deadpool's $12.7 million. And It's good luck continued on Friday, when the horror flick was on schedule to take in $40 million during its opening day (inclusive of the Thursday night money). According to most estimates, that will give Pennywise and the Losers' Club a total three-day opening of around $85 million, well above what even the most optimistic pundits predicted. 

It's numbers are astronomically higher than the other high-profile Stephen King adaptation this year. The Dark Tower, released this past summer, made just $19 million in its first weekend. The new movie may even end up with the second-biggest opening weekend for an R-rated movie ever, behind (you guessed it) Deadpool, which rode its Valentine's weekend opening to $132.4 million.

It's success is in no small part due to the internet and social media. Deadline reports that the film's YouTube views are three times that of the typical horror film: 97,000 daily views as opposed to around 32,000 for its typical scary competition.